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Workout and Contest Plans for 2009

By Gary F. Zeolla

The following message was posted in the Weight Trainer's United forum and on my MySpace page.

Yesterday (Wednesday, 1/7/09), I put in my first workout since December 11 (see last month’s Time for a Break post). I was going to start lifting again on January 4th, but I came down with a head/ chest cold last week, and I needed to be sure I was over that. That led to some other health setbacks that I also needed to deal with.

I ended up taking about four weeks off. And remember, back in December, I was just recovering from a hamstring injury that occurred on October 22, so it has now been over 12 weeks since I have worked out heavy on steady basis.

In addition, I weighed myself yesterday for the first time since my last workout, and I lost about five pounds. For someone my size (5’1”), that is a lot, and very discouraging as it is probably mostly muscle. Just goes to show how quickly someone my age (47) loses muscle without working out. But it does put me in the good position of needing to eat to gain weight for the next several weeks.

That said, my workout plans are to still lift four times a week, alternating through four basic workouts: Squats/ Benches/ Deadlifts/ Bench Assistance. But I am going to utilize what I call an “Alternate Weeks” routine, so I will have two sets of basic workouts.

For Week A (odd-numbered weeks) and both Bench Assistance days I will be doing two major assistance exercises each day. Once I get back into it, I’ll do two work sets each. For Week B (even-numbered weeks), I will be doing the actual powerlift as my main exercise for the day for three work sets, along with a minor assistance exercise for two work sets. All other assistance work will also be done for two work sets.

I have no idea if or when I will compete again. But there is an ADAU Raw Power contest in Monroeville, PA, which is near my home, Memorial Day weekend. I might be able to be ready for it, but with the extended layoff from heavy training, I kind of doubt it. Allotting for an “extra” day off once a month as I am planning on doing, along with time off the week of the contest, I would only have about 17 weeks of actual training.

A more realistic target might be ADAU Nationals on July 11 in Clearfield, PA, which is about two hours from my home. That would give me a full six months to prepare. Counting everything out, I should get in 24 full weeks of training. In that case, I will run my current routine for 12 weeks, and then I should get in another 12 week routine before the contest. That is why I will be labeling my first week’s workouts when I post them as “Week 1 of 12.”

If I’m not ready or able to enter that contest, then I already know of a couple of contests in September/ October I could enter. If I do enter the contest in July and I want to enter another contest in 2009, then again, I already know of a couple of contests in November/ December I could enter. But it will all depend on how my training goes and most importantly what my health situation is this year.

On that contest in December, it is on the 6th. And that is the latest in the year I would plan on entering a contest. As I mentioned before, since I started powerlifting again, I never planned on entering a contest in the winter due to fears of snowstorm causing problems, until this year. The contest I had planned on entering is this Saturday (1/10). And sure enough, a snowstorm is hitting the area Friday night. If I were still planning on entering that contest, I would be going crazy right now. From now on, I will stick with my plan of no winter contests.

In any case, it felt good to get back into lifting. I’m not even that sore today, like I thought I’d be. I can only hope and pray that no more major problems occur, and I can start lifting on a consistent basis again.

On a side note, I mention on my site that everyone always seems to get sick over the holidays or shortly thereafter. Most blame this on the cold weather or being cooped up inside with lots of people for various get-togethers. But I state that the main reason people get sick is all of the junk they eat over the holidays.

For the past several Christmas seasons, I was very “good” and only ate a Christmas cookie or two, and that was it as far as junk goes, and I never got sick. But this year, since I wasn’t lifting, I ate quite a bit more junk than just a couple of Christmas cookies. That lasted about a week, until I got sick. Pretty good proof it is the junk food that leads to all of the sickness. Hopefully, I won’t make the same mistake again next year.

In any case, it is now time for me to really start watching my eating plan again in order to get back into shape and to be sure the weight I gain back is muscle, not fat.

For my first set of workouts, see Full Workout Logs: Starting 1/7/09: Alternate Weeks: Weeks 1-6 of 12.

For a change in these plans, see Revised Contest Plans for 2009.

Workout and Contest Plans for 2009. Copyright 2009 by Gary F. Zeolla.

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